Stress is an inevitable part of life. We all feel overwhelmed, confused, and anxious at times. And there are many effective and healthy ways to cope with stress, including releasing physical tension (such as through exercise or a hot bath) and reducing obsessive worries and negative thoughts.
Using affirmations is one way to change our thoughts and feelings. They can help us focus on how we want to feel and on our ability to cope.
However, if affirmations are going to work, they need to be realistic and authentic. Some positive affirmations are really corny and unbelievable (like, I am full of peace and joy). Telling yourself that youre full of peace and joy when youre actually full of tension and worry, probably isnt going to feel true or helpful. Instead, try to acknowledge your situation and feelings (that you feel stressed and anxious) and focus on how you want to cope — what you want to think, feel, and do in response.
Below are some affirmations that you may find helpful during times of stress and uncertainty. What feels true and right and helpful, certainly varies from person to person. So, use these as ideas to create your own affirmations or mantras. For example, you can make them more specific by stating something in particular that youre grateful for or a particular coping strategy that you will use.
- This is stressful, so I will take extra good care of myself.
- I will stay present-focused and take this one day at a time.
- I choose to be optimistic.
- Im doing what I can to remain physically and emotionally healthy.
- This too shall pass.
- I will get through this.
- I will focus on what I can control and release the rest.
- My fear is understandable, but constantly worrying about the worst-case scenario isnt helpful.
- I will try to be kind and gentle with myself.
- I can be both afraid and courageous at the same time.
- Im doing the best that I can, and thats all I can ask of myself.
- When Im struggling, I will ask for help.
- My feelings wont last forever.
- I can always find something to be grateful for.
- When I feel overwhelmed, I will choose a healthy way to cope.
- Its healthy to take a break to rest or have fun.
- I can lean on others for support. Im not alone in this.
- When Im afraid, I will rely on my Higher Power for strength and guidance.
- My body and mind need to rest and recharge. So, I will let myself rest without judgment.
- Im stronger than I think.
Affirmations have the most impact when we use them regularly. Its a good idea to write them down and keep them somewhere handy like your phone or purse. When were under a lot of stress, we tend to forget things, so its useful to have your list of affirmations in a convenient place.
Most people like to repeat their affirmations several times per day either by reading them silently or out loud or by writing them down in a journal or notebook. I encourage you to try to make a daily habit of reading or writing your affirmations at the same time every day (first thing in the morning and before bed work well). Doing this consistently will help to reinforce the positive thoughts and feelings that youre trying to build.
You can also use these affirmations as writing prompts. See what thoughts and feelings emerge when you think about each affirmation.
I hope these affirmations bring you some comfort and hope during these difficult times.
2020 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photo by Ben White on Unsplash.com.